PICK A PUMPKIN by Patricia Toht


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
Email this review


Readers follow a family from picking pumpkins through carving a jack-o’-lantern to trick-or-treating around the neighborhood in this rhyming, artful picture book.

A family picks pumpkins from the patch on the farm: “Vivid orange, / ghostly white, / or speckled green / might be just right.” Back at home, they prepare their space, invite “a friend or two— / form a PUMPKIN-CARVING CREW!” Cleaning out the pumpkin’s inside gets especially sensory treatment: “Lumpy chunks. Sticky strings. / Clumpy seeds. Guts and things.” All the variations of eyes, noses, and mouths (“A smirk. A snarl. / An eerie O. / Or pointy fangs, / all in a row” complete the carvings. Then it’s time for decorations, costumes, lighting the jack-o’-lanterns “to guard your house / while you have fun.” The illustrations use pencil, chalk, paint, and digital color with hues of purple and orange against blue and pink backgrounds to create a feeling of fall and dusk. The story moves from family to friends to a panoramic view of the street lined with jack-o’-lanterns in the final spread, capturing the magic of seasonal traditions. The nearly flawless rhythm of the text is a pleasure to read and will likely become a favorite. The family is interracial, with a black dad, Asian mom, and biracial kids.

Enchanting. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0764-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2019


ChildrenDRESS LIKE A GIRL by Patricia Toht
by Patricia Toht
ChildrenPICK A PINE TREE by Patricia Toht
by Patricia Toht


ChildrenTROPICAL TERRY by Jarvis
by Jarvis
ChildrenI'M IN CHARGE! by Jeanne Willis
by Jeanne Willis
ChildrenHELLO, HOT DOG by Lily Murray
by Lily Murray
ChildrenPICK A PINE TREE by Patricia Toht
by Patricia Toht